Citi looking to sell Indian BPO and tech units - report

Citi looking to sell Indian BPO and tech units - report

Citigroup is looking to restructure its Indian back office operations and put its BPO and technology divisions up for sale, according to local press reports which cite IBM as the "lead contender" for the assets.

India's Economic Times says the US bank, which has been badly hit by the credit crunch, is set to overhaul its back office operations in India - which are valued at around $1 billion - and sell off its Mumbai-based BPO operation - Citigroup Global Services - as well as its Citos unit which provides outsourced technology and infrastructure services.

IBM Global Services is leading the race for the units, although European IT consultancy Capgemini and Indian outfit Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) are also in the running, says the Economic Times.

Citi and IBM have so far refused to comment.

Earlier this year the Economic Times reported that the sale of Citigroup Global Services - formerly known as e-Serve International - had been halted while Citi reviewed its operations after the credit crisis.

Speculation that Citi was looking to sell off the Indian unit came to the fore last July when it was reported that the US bank had shortlisted three bidders - Genpact, Firstsource and WNS. At the time IBM and Capgemini were said to be out of the running.

It was reported that a $700 million deal with Genpact was close to completion but a fall in the stock market led to the sale being cancelled.

Citigroup Global Services employees about 8000 people in Mumbai and Chennai. The US bank took over the BPO unit in 2004 by acquiring the 55.6% it didn't already own in the business.

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